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UN Aid Chief in Turkiye to discuss Ukraine grain deal renewal

November 16, 2022 at 9:04 am

UN special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths in Sweden, on 13 December 2018 [Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images]

The UN’s Aid Chief, Martin Griffiths, met Russian and Turkish officials, Tuesday, in Istanbul to discuss the renewal of a deal that allows Ukrainian grain exports, according to a spokesman, Anadolu News Agency reports.

UN’s deputy spokesman, Farhan Haq, told reporters the Emergency Relief Coordinator visited the Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) in Istanbul that inspects ships exporting grain from Ukrainian ports.

”Mr. Griffiths met with the Russian, Turkish and Ukrainian delegations at the JCC, as well as with the UN team and thanked all sides for their hard work, discussed and commitment to the initiative and areas of improvement in the implementation of the agreement,” said the spokesman.

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, also met Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, on Tuesday on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.

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“They had a lengthy meeting and they went through all the aspects related to the process of facilitation of Russian exports – food and fertilisers – and the Black Sea Grain Initiative,” said Haq.

Asked by Anadolu Agency if the UN Chief received assurances from Russia to extend the deal, Haq said: ”As we get to the coming days, what those intentions are will become clear.”

Turkiye, the UN, Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement 22 July in Istanbul to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which were paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February.

More than 10 million tons of grains have been exported from Ukraine since 1 August, according to the UN.